In Brief

Community resolutions used in 10,000 serious violence cases

Critics blame police cuts for sharp rise in number of people dodging court for violent crimes

POLICE resolved more than 10,000 cases of serious violent crime last year using 'community resolutions', an informal system that requires perpetrators to apologise or compensate their victims rather than face a criminal charge.

Community resolutions are only supposed to be used in relation to "low-level" crime, the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said. The system – also known as restorative justice – usually requires an offender to apologise, pay compensation or repair any damage caused. Unlike a prosecution or a caution, this does not result in a criminal record.

But data obtained by the Labour Party from 33 police forces in England and Wales show that a community resolution was applied in 10,160 incidents of "serious violence" last year - about 12 times the figure five years ago, the BBC reports. It means that 14 per cent of violent offences are being dealt with informally rather than going through the courts.

The sharp increase can be attributed to the fact that police are increasingly being encouraged to use informal sanctions in relation to minor incidents as a way of "reducing the burden on the criminal justice system", the BBC's home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw says.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper went further, describing the sharp rise in community resolutions as "extremely serious" and blaming it on government cuts. Cooper said there had been "a massive increase in the number of serious and violent crimes dealt with just by community resolution ever since the police cuts started - breaking all the expert guidance and promises from ministers".

Guidelines published by Acpo say that community resolutions should be used for "less serious" offences which may include "minor assaults without injury". But the BBC says they are being applied to acts of  serious violence which include crimes such as inflicting GBH without intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and malicious wounding.

Recommended

Inside the Carlton Club
The Carlton Club on St James’s Street
Behind the scenes

Inside the Carlton Club

The history of Pride
People celebrating Pride in London
In Depth

The history of Pride

The countries that have banned conversion therapy
Conversion therapy protest
Why we’re talking about . . .

The countries that have banned conversion therapy

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin
G7 leaders
Getting to grips with . . .

‘Playground insults’: what world leaders have said about Vladimir Putin

Popular articles

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?
Nato troops
Today’s big question

Nato vs. Russia: who would win in a war?

What happened to Logan Mwangi?
Tributes left to Logan Mwangi
Today’s big question

What happened to Logan Mwangi?

The Week Footer Banner